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Fall 2019 Basque Studies Workshops and Course Offerings


BASQ-STD 380 Basque Culture through Cinema

  • Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30am-11:45am, Nere Lete

Description: This course will offer a global view of the Basque Country’s culture and cinema. It will present film as an investigative tool to examine social, historical and political  issues in Basque culture and society.

BASQ-STD 397 Food and Culture: The Basque Case

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00am-10:15am, Ziortza Gandarias


Food is considered a significant marker of identity as well as a hallmark of tradition In the Basque Country. This course focuses on the role of food in the construction and reconstruction of identities and stereotypes in Basque culture. Can food define a Country? Can food define a people? The course will offer a sociological view of Basque traditional culture as related to cooking, eating and drinking.

  1. A diachronic overview on Basque social structures and food.
  2. Gender roles and cooking: A boiling pot
  3. The weight of tradition in a changing society
  4. Selling out cooking: (Basque) Nouvelle/Haute Cuisine/Institutionalization
  5. Are the Basques still singing around the dinner table?


Basque Studies Workshop Offerings -1 credit (PASS / FAIL)

BASQ-STD 294-001/494-001

  • Saturday and Sunday, 9/7 and 9/8, 9:00am-5:00pm, Ziortza Gandarias

Description: The class will focus on the main characteristics of Basque culture, both in the motherland and in the diaspora (primarily the American West), such as language, family structure, housing models, rural sports, festivals and traditions. History, sociology, and economy will also be examined in order to understand the main pillars of the Basque culture. Through analysis and discussion, the cross-cultural and transnational relationship between the motherland and the diaspora will be better understood.


  1. Students will be able to identify and analyze the main social, cultural, political and economic components of the Basque culture.
  2. Students will be able to integrate and synthesize core knowledge and thus be able to analyze complex moral, socio-political and cultural issues relating to Basques in the homeland and the diaspora.
  3. Students will be able to identify and analyze the various, changeable components of Basque identity in the homeland and diaspora.
  4. Students will be able to articulate the ideological basis of diverse theories of identity and culture and apply them to the Basque case.

BASQ-STD 294-002/494-002 Culture and Tourism: The Basques

  • Saturday and Sunday, 10/12 and 10/13, 9:00am-5:00pm, Ziortza Gandarias


The course critically analyzes the history of tourism in the Basque Country from a cultural, historical and sociological perspective.  Tourism was one of the major elements of transformation of Basque society during the late nineteenth century and its importance has increased considerably in recent years. Geographical and cultural characteristics make the Basque Country an attractive tourist destination in Europe and visitors are arriving by the thousands. But is tourism just a source of income? What challenges/threats come with it?


  1. To demonstrate knowledge of Basque history and society
  2. To reflect on the different forms of tourism
  3. To understand the link between tourism and exotization
  4. To show awareness towards inter-cultural communication


  1. Anthropological views of the Basques
  2. First travelers and pilgrims
  3. Belle Époque and aristocratic tourism

4.   Exotization: The attraction towards the “other”

5.    Metaphors of mass tourism: The case of San Fermin’s

6.     Bilbao: The transforming of a tough city

  1. The Game of Thrones phenomenon
  2. Food and Tourism
  3. New times, new challenges


BASQ-STD 294-003/494-003 Paganism & Religion: The Basques

  • Saturday and Sunday, 11/12 and 11/3, 9:00am-5:00pm, Ziortza Gandarias


Introduction to the defining elements of Basque aboriginal paganism, deities, rites and mythology. The course also examines the Basques’ first conversion to Christianity: its idiosyncrasy and historical peculiarities. The supremacy of Roman Catholicism among Basques is scrutinized. The influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the construction of pre-modern, modern and contemporary Basque identity is analyzed.


  1. To understand the link between culture, identity and religion
  2. To demonstrate knowledge of Basque history
  3. To reflect on the differences and similarities of cultures and their religious practices
  4. To show awareness towards intercultural communication


  1. What we mean by Paganism. A working definition.
  2. Religion and spirituality
  3. Religion in the construction of personal and collective Identity.
  4. Basque pagan deities.
  5. Main Basque myths, legends and rites and their significance
  6. Christianity in the Basque Country
  7. The Supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church and its influence
  8. The persistence of pagan rites in contemporary Basque culture


BASQ-STD 294-004/494-004 Gender and Ethnicity: The Basques

  • Saturday and Sunday, 10/26 and 10/27, 9:00am-5:00pm, Larraitz Ariznabarreta

This workshop analyzes how the concepts of ethnicity, gender and nation intersect in cultural identities, and how they are reflected in society. The Basque case is used as significant metaphor.

1. Matriarchal culture(s): Myth and Realities
2. Women as mothers, goddesses, witches:terms, symbols and signifiers
3. Gender, race, nation: the role of women in traditional basque Nationalism
Gender and new forms of (European) racism:considerations in the light of a minority culture
5. festivals, rites, and gender: inclusion and exclusion in traditional Basque culture
6. The Women’s Movement in the Basque Country:historic contributions and contemporary challenges
7. Basque Feminism and Intersectionality, a necessary liaison?

BASQ-STD 294-005/494-005 Genocide Studies: Introduction

  • Saturday and Sunday, 11/9 and 11/10, 9:00am-5:00pm, Xabier Irujo


This course offers students the chance to get a global view of genocide in the twentieth century. Western Europe and the Holocaust offer and excellent case study.
This workshop focuses on the study of the theoretical and technical development of tools and strategies to generate and manage a genocide campaign in the twentieth century, with special attention to the Holocaust,. The analyses of the atrocities perpetrated in the territories occupied by the German regime between 1939 and 1945 in the light of international law gives the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues regarding the definition of atrocity, crime, terror, cultural genocide and genocide.

BASQ-STD 294-006/494-006 The French Basques

  • Saturday and Sunday, 9/21 and 9/22, 9:00am-5:00pm, Meggan Mackey


Learn about the distinctive historical and cultural elements of the Iparralde Basques (French Basques) as compared to the Hegoalde (Spanish provinces), and their migration and settlement in the American West. The goal is to explore the unique characteristics of the French Basques as compared to the Spanish Basques, as well as shared elements. The course includes an introduction to the history of Basques and their migration and settlement in the American West. Students will study several distinctive elements of the French Basques, including geography, folklore, dance, and language.

Objective 1: Study Old Country Basque history and culture.

Objective 2: Study the geographic and cultural distinctions between the French and Spanish provinces, and similarities.

Objective 3: Study Basque migration and settlement in the American West.

Objective 4: Study French Basque folklore, festival dance/music, language, and architecture (homes).

Objective 5: Students will complete two writing assignments (in-class Passport prompts and final paper) and one team-based in-class project.

Objective 6: Assign critical inquiry to assigned readings, course lectures, videos, and other educational resources